Third Annual Celebration of Smiles

April 1, 2010

Media Contact:  Lisa Davis, 954-712-3980

For Immediate Release

3rd Annual Celebration of Smiles Charity Ride raises money for Broward Health Chris Evert Children’s Hospital

Fort Lauderdale, FL  – More than 500 motorcycle riders recently participated in the third annual “Celebration of Smiles” charity ride to benefit Broward Health Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.  The 59-mile ride through Broward County, was escorted by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and raised close to $13,000 for the renovation and expansion of Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.

The event began at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale where participants were welcomed by Ron Catronio, co-founder/chairman of the Big Bike Rider’s Children’s Foundation.  Other speakers included Michael S. Long, president of the Broward Health Foundation and James Thaw, chief executive officer of Broward General Medical Center and Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler attended the event and presented a proclamation naming March 21, 2010 as Chris Evert Children’s Hospital – Celebration of Smiles Charity Ride Day. The ride ended at Bru’s Room Sports Grill in Coral Springs where close to 1,000 people gathered to eat lunch and enjoy live music by The Fabulons. “On the third Wednesday of each March, these bikers gather to help raise funds and awareness for Chris Evert Children’s Hospital,” said Ron Catronio.  “Our hearts are never bigger than when we’re helping kids.  We’re especially pleased to partner with the Broward Health Foundation to help our local children.”

Last year, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital treated more than 46,000 children.  The renovation and expansion plans will allow for a new expanded children’s-centered emergency department; larger, private rooms for families and their children; a reconstructed neonatology unit and pediatric intensive care unit; and a uniquely designed and constructed women’s services and facilities that will provide for a family-centered experience for new moms and dads.

The Broward Health Foundation is the fundraising arm of Broward Health, one of the ten largest public healthcare systems in the nation.  The mission of the Broward Health Foundation is to improve the health of the community by providing resources to promote, support and enhance the programs and initiatives of Broward Health.